Project Easy Throw-On Serger Top

By Stephanie Struckmann

Skill Level: Beginner  

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Who doesn't love a cute top you can throw on and run out the door? With your Baby Lock serger, this shirt will come together in a snap! It's casual enough to run errands, but can be dressed up for a date. You'll love the versatility and how simple it is to make! Download printable instructions.


  • 3 Spools Madeira® Aerolock serger thread to match fabrics
  • Madeira® Aerofil all-purpose sewing thread to match fabrics
  • 60” Wide lightweight knit (see step 1 for how much yardage)
  • T-shirt (to take measurements from)



  1. To find out how much fabric you need, stretch your arms straight out to the side (to form the letter “T”) and have someone measure you from elbow to elbow.

    1. hat will be the width of the shirt and the amount of fabric you’ll need if you are cutting the shirt width parallel with the lengthwise grain of the fabric.

    2. However, if you are cutting with the width because of a directional fabric, you’ll need about 60” of fabric.

  2. Fold your fabric widthwise (selvage to selvage). Then, fold it again lengthwise (raw edge to raw edge). Your fabric should be folded into fourths at this point.

  3. Take that elbow-to-elbow length + 1” and divide that number by 2.

    1. Take that measurement and measure from the center fold out to that measurement and draw a line at a 90 degree angle from the shoulder seam.

  4. For the neckline, measure the width of the neck opening on a store-bought T-shirt.

    1. Take half of that measurement and draw a little fourth circle from the center out (this just gives you something to start with).

    2. Shape your neckline as desired. Start small; you can always cut larger.

  5. Then, measure on your body from your neckline to where you’d want the hem to lay.

    1. Draw a line on your fabric 90 degrees from the center front/back fold where you want the hem.

    2. Mark it longer than you measured; you can always shorten. Then, connect the 2 lines with a curve.

    3. You have to estimate where you stop and start your curve, but you can alter it in the next step.

  6. Cut out the neckline and hemline. Gently, try on your top (try not to stretch out the neck).

    1. Decide if you need to taper or shape it. You can pin where your side seams would be to get a better idea of the drape.

    2. You can also alter the neckline. I ended up changing the front neckline to a V-shape. Just open the blouse and cut on the fold, only on the front side of the neckline.

  7. Once you have your shape figured out, thread your serger and set it for a 3-thread narrow rolled hem with a .75 stitch length and a pretty narrow width.

    1. Serge around the entire outer oval to finish this edge. If this is new for you, practice on some extra fabric to get comfortable!

  8. Then, set your serger to a 3-thread overlock narrow stitch (but set the width as wide as it will go) and carefully serge your neckline.

    1. Open up any tight curves or points as you’re serging to catch all edges.

    2. Press and/or pin the serged edge under to the inside of the shirt and topstitch down with a smaller knit needle in your sewing machine.

  9. Lastly, try it on again and pin where you want your side seams to be and how high.

    1. Mark that line, baste a stitch line and adjust the length and location of your side seams as needed.

    2. When you find the exact location of the seam you want, stitch it down with a 2.5 stitch length.

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